It is also an important crossroads for trade. But all this could be at risk if the United States changes the way it treats Hong Kong. 11 In the first four months of the agreement, 869 certificates of origin were applied for under the EPA and 813 were authorised, mainly in textiles and clothing (310 licensed) and pharmaceuticals (209). In the first quarter of 2004, the decline in exports of products from Hong Kong to China continued, but at a slower pace than in 2003 (-8.4% versus -11.9%), with no change attributable to the EPA. Between January 1 and May 21, 2004, the value of duty-free products was less than HK400 million (US$50 million). 30 In addition, the EPA is the first bilateral trade agreement signed by Hong Kong. Another agreement is being negotiated with New Zealand. While the Hong Kong authorities do not question the priority given to multilateral negotiations, they make no secret of their willingness to participate, like Singapore, in the dissemination of bilateral and regional agreements to improve the image of the RAD as a regional commercial market. U.S.
government officials have warned that Hong Kong no longer deserves special trade status and that the territory could be treated in the same way as mainland China. Trump`s order will end Hong Kong`s special trade status – granted to it by a 1984 agreement, which was also reached between China and Hong Kong`s former colonizer, Britain, before sovereignty was restored to the city in 1997. The 1992 Hong Kong United States Special Policy Act allowed Hong Kong to reduce tariffs and establish a separate customs framework to deal with the United States. Hong Kongers of Chinese nationality may practice in mainland China without prior authorization after graduating from the Chinese profession. While Trump did not provide details on the broader impact of his order, the removal of Hong Kong`s special trade status could suspend Hong Kong`s exports to higher U.S. tariffs, as is the case with mainland China.